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Mission: The New Hope Baptist Church is a worshipping community committed to educating, equipping and empowering believers for Christian living in the 21st Century. Rev. Howard C. Earle, Jr., Senior Pastor Rev. Dallas Lenear, Executive Pastor CHURCH STAFF

Director of Youth and Children’s Ministry, Quentin Henry Minister of Music, Lamar James Church Administrator, Tarra Thompson Office Secretary, Michelle Coleman Custodian: Full-Time, Robert Phillips Custodian: Part-Time, Ricky Foster



Willie Smith, Chair Carl Guy, Vice Chair Arthur Weeks, Secretary Marvin James, Ass’t Secretary Curtis James, Emeritus Duriel Cohen Willie Cox Ron Garner Dudley James Corey Jefferson Frank Lamar Michael Levi George Lowe Clarence Mondy Louis Montgomery Alexander Thomas Booker Thurman Jamalle Weddle Charles Weekley


Larry Love, Chair Endia Weekley, Vice Chair, Treasurer Oscar James, Secretary Beverly McDonald, Ass’t Secretary Booker Thurman Roma Collins William Gartmon Frances Gill John Jefferson AJ Jones Eli Likely Lynda McDonald Louis Montgomery Pamela Oliver Maurice Satterfield Wilson Tate William Upton

NEWSLETTER TEAM Rev. Dallas Lenear, Editor Pat Pulliam, Layout Design Becky Tezeno &Tarra Thompson Cover Design Arthur Weeks & Dudley James Photographers Garrett Fox Quentin Henry Lamar James Chantil Skinner Krystal Sweat Shelley Swift Columnists Submit information for the newsletter to the church office.

Hope’s Voice, Vol. 6 #4, August- September, 2011

Table of Contents

1- Front Cover 2- Church Mission, Rosters,Table of Contents 3- Pastor’s Page 4- Executive Perspective 5- Healthy Living Hub 6- Big Steps for School Success 7- Project Get Connected! 8 & 9- Kingdom Life Conferenve 10- Book Review 11- Musical Musings 12- Something BIB and Volunteers At New Hope 13- Summer Blast 14- Summer Blast, Cont’d 15- School Success, Cont’d, Search Is On For Parents and Hearing Impaired 16- Back Cover: Youth Month, Service Opportunities and Facebook and Twitter

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Dear New Hope Family, Grace and peace be unto you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord who was dead but now lives forever. I pray that your summer has been filled with joy, love, and excitement thus far. As I compose this letter, I am thinking about the course of events that have transpired over the last several months. During the month of May we watched violent tornadoes wreak havoc across the country, claiming hundreds of lives and displacing thousands. Even though there’s little or no media coverage now, we know those communities will be rebuilding and learning to live with incomprehensible loss for years to come. Our national economy is still in crisis; and even as I type, Congress and our President are at odds over the decision to raise the debt ceiling. During the evening hours of July 7th, we watched a scene unfold on live television that rivaled action sequences scripted in Hollywood. This was perhaps the darkest day in our city’s history as we learned of Rodrick Dantzler’s murderous rampage resulting in the loss of seven innocent lives, two of which were his wife and daughter. The surreal chain of events would end with an eighth death – his own. Without question, we are living in times of tremendous pain and suffering. Because we are highly rational beings, we cannot help but search for meaning and understanding in all of life’s circumstances. However, there are times when the vicissitudes of life sweep across the landscape of our souls leaving our hopes, dreams, and confidence in tatters. As Dr. Reginald Smith stated so eloquently in a recent Grand Rapids Times article, these times “force us to look for answers that cannot come from our politics, technology, or culture.” Tragedy and heartache become painful reminders of our frailty and limitations. As I reflect over the heartache of our nation, community, and even within our congregation, I take solace in the fact that God is still on the throne. In His sovereignty, he allows us to experience events that shake us to our core. And just as sure as we are shaken, we are also enveloped by His sufficient grace. Because we live in a fallen world, suffering will always accompany us along our journey. The devastation in communities like Joplin, MO, our current economic crisis, and the tragic events of July 7th heighten my sensitivity to the truth of the scriptures. The 46th Psalm continues to reverberate in my mind and spirit as I ponder the dichotomy of the gloom and glory of life. “God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Where do we take shelter when life caves in around us? God. Where do we find safety when the storms of life rage? God. Who keeps us when our man-made infrastructures prove to be insufficient? God. James teaches us that “life is but a vapor, hear for a while, and then vanishes.” While we find ourselves tossed to and fro by the restless seas of life, we are comforted by the fact that our souls are anchored in the bedrock of God’s grace - kept for eternity. As we march on holding up the blood stained banner, let us remember that we are safe in His grip. We take shelter under the wings of an almighty God! Rather than fret, we must “Be still and know that He is God.” In Christ, Rev. Howard C. Earle, Jr. Senior Pastor, New Hope Baptist Church

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Why Not? The Executive Perspective


t is a blessing to work in the divine dichotomy of ministry administration. The duties of administration pull me toward measurements, budgets, deadlines, limited resources, trends, policies and procedures. At the same time, the spiritual nature of ministry command me to dream, imagine, walk by faith, think big, think bigger …think God! I think of all that God is calling New Hope to do with our current level of giving, our current number of volunteers, our current staff, our current facilities in this current economy and current social climate. Then, I am reminded that God has stopped the flow of “currents” before! If he did miracles at the Red Sea and the Jordan River, why not in the River City? If he moved Israel from Egypt to Canaan, why not move the people of God in Grand Rapids from bondage to breakthrough? If he used Moses in his trepidation, Joshua in his youthfulness, Rahab in spite of her past, Gideon in his small force, David overcoming his sin, Jeremiah in his fear and the Twelve in all of their faults and foibles …why not you? Why not me? Why not New Hope? Why not now?!! So we continue to measure and plan and strategize and analyze… But we do so with our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. Our prudent administration remains subject to the sovereign power and plan of God to accomplish his mission through us.

A Snapshot of Our Discipleship Efforts

New Hope, let’s continue to think BIG knowing that our God is able! Why not?! What else is new? Some of the things we’re doing in the office: • Sending mid-year contribution statements to our members. • Completing our 2011 discipleship and ministry plans. • Advanced planning for 2012 discipleship and ministry activities. • Solidifying collaborations with YMCA, Urban Family Ministries and other community partners for kingdom impact. • Praying for resources and strategy to pursue God’s growth plans for New Hope. • Constantly refining our ministry structure. • Increasing and improving our use of technology and electronic media. His,

Dallas Lenear XP

Healthy Living Hub

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Parents/Guardians, you can take Zumba classes while your children participate in the Garden Club. There’s still time to join in. Call the church office, 452-4278 for more details.


Physical Activity… Zumba, Basketball, and more!

Nutrition Education… Cooking Classes, Food Demonstrations, and more!

Community Garden… Learn to plant, grow, and prepare your own fresh fruits and vegetables!

Veggie Mobile… Low-cost fresh produce!



ZUMBA FREE July 25-August 22 New Hope Baptist Church Mondays from 1-2pm It’s here! The always popular Zumba class combines aerobics with Latin music to help tone muscles. This will be fun, energizing, and effective for burning calories. Tell a friend and come join us.

Contact Nikki Thompkins to register today! 616-706-3662

GARDEN CLUB FREE July 25-August 22 New Hope Baptist Church Mondays from 1-2pm Kids ages 6-10 come out and learn basic gardening skills with your friends. This will be a great chance to enjoy nature, eat healthy snacks, and have fun.

Contact Nikki Thompkins to register today! 616-706-3662


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Parents, Students Taking BIG Steps For School Success — Are You In The Number? By Patricia Pulliam, Ph.D.

Pathways To Education (PTE) Ministry Leader


ew Hope’s Pathways to Education Ministry has started a new monitoring project to encourage students to continue making big moves to school success. This project is one of PTE’s efforts connected to the ministry’s purpose: “To encourage youth and adults in their continued pursuit towards academic achievements and lifelong learning, while recognizing their accomplishments.” The parent’s/guardian’s involvement is very important – the backbone – for this project. Here’s how it works. Participating parents/guardians are submitting their son’s and daughter’s report cards to PTE members Jean Pitmon for elementary school students, Charles “Chuck” Weekley for middle school students and Sandra Jones for high school students. They will note the progress that any participating student makes, at any level of achievement. If a problem is detected, they will make referrals for the student to get assistance.

Sandra Jones

Charles Weekley

Jean Pitmon

The PTE monitoring project brings together the visions of two groups. Here’s how it started. The General Education Ministry honored graduates, presented school success workshops for parents and students and was considering ways to monitor K-12 student achievement, on-going, leading up to graduation. The Academic Achievement Ministry included report cards with applications from parents for K-12 students to be recognized at the Academic Excellence Recognition Program at the end of the school year and also had been discussing ways to monitor during the year. Late last year, the General Education Ministry and Academic Achievement Ministry were merged into a single ministry under a new name – Pathways to Education (PTE). In the spring, PTE sent a letter to parents/guardians at New Hope notifying them about the project that will monitor “students’ growth and progress in school attendance, academics, character development, and church involvement.” When interested parents and students attended a special School Success Page 15

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You Don’t Know — If You Don’t Ask I have to be honest – sometimes I find myself frustrated with those that I help. Why did you wait until it was a crisis and not just a problem? Why didn’t you ask for help sooner? But the longer I work in community services, the more I hear that people just don’t know that the help is out there. New Hope Baptist Church is BIG about outreach, and our own church family is included in that reach. By Chantil Skinner

• Did you know that we have a free Christian Financial Counselor here at New Hope? Ask Deacon Smith. • Did you know that we have a free Financial Support Group that meets every 2nd Monday of each month? Ask Ukinya Hunter. • Did you know that we can help you get connected to mental health, substance abuse, and alcohol abuse resources? • Did you know that you can get free help applying for Medicare and Medicaid? Ask Chantil Skinner (me)

√ Chantil’s Pick of the Month … Project Get Connected


ou will begin seeing flyers around the church and at other community programs with this program name on them. It is a resource that some have already heard of since its pilot launched over two years ago. Project Get Connected has Outreach Specialists stationed at five churches, including New Hope, Bethel, Renaissance, Lighthouse, and Messiah. This program can help you determine what mental health or substance abuse services are available to you. We can also help those who may qualify for Medicaid to apply. You may know someone who is sad more than they used to be or just having a hard time with the stressors of this tough economy. Encourage them to ask for someone to talk to at Project Get Connected. Perhaps alcohol or other controlled substances have become a part of your daily routine. Are you without health insurance? Project Get Connected is a confidential program, and you don’t have to meet at the church. However, you will need to call one of the aforementioned churches to get connected to the outreach specialist.

“ This program can help you determine what mental health or substance abuse services are available to you. We can also help those who may qualify for Medicaid to apply.”

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ne night, I was watching an interview with Bobby Knight, the legendary and controversial college basketball coach. Coach Knight was recalling a conversation he had with one of his Indiana players who said, “Coach I had the best dunk of my career tonight.” Coach Knight expressed his disappointment because while he agreed the player played one of his best games, it was not because of his dunk, but because of how well he did fundamentally. He was impressed with his foot work, how he positioned himself, how he dribbled with control, etc. Coach Knight placed value on fundamentals more than slam dunks because he believed that sound fundamentals were essential for a player to become a champion.

Don’t Miss Pillars New Hope Baptist Church seeks to educate, equip, and empower believers for Christian living in the 21st century. In essence, we want to develop spiritual champions. Like Coach Knight, we also value sound fundamentals. This year’s Kingdom Life Conference theme is “Pillars: Fundamentals of the Faith.” Pillars are supportive structures usually cylindrical in shape designed to provide and maintain the structural integrity of buildings, bridges, and other edifices. In the whirlwind of contemporary Christianity, one would be hard pressed to discern exactly what is fundamental to the faith. We will be exploring and celebrating the timeless pillars of the Christian faith: Stewardship, Scripture, Prayer, Worship, and Service.

Just like the massive concrete pillars that support the bridges in our city, these pillars of the Christian faith provide the structural framing for the believer’s relationship with God. These fundamentals provide the foundation upon which all other faith expressions rest. From Sunday, July 31st – Thursday, August 4th, we will be enlightened, challenged, and inspired by some of the most gifted ministers in these subject areas. I pray that this year’s conference will leave an indelible mark on your walk with God. May you pray with greater fervor, give and manage your God-given resources with wisdom, worship with greater intensity, serve with passion, and devote your life to the study and application of the truths of scripture. – Pastor Earle

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Thrift Store Saints: Meeting Jesus 25 Cents at a Time Book Review

I have a confession to make: When I see people suffering, whether it’s a news clip of victims of a natural disaster or I see the face of a homeless person on the streets of Grand Rapids, I’d much rather write a check to a charity than get personally involved in people’s desperate situations. If I’m asked to get directly involved, I have a fantastic line of defense, “I’d love to help, but I’m already overbooked with other obligations. When I get some free time, I’ll let you know.” This is much better than admitting I’m too afraid, isn’t it?

By Shelly Swift

About fifteen years ago Jane Knuth, a middle school math teacher and suburbanite from Kalamazoo, Michigan, found herself in a St. Vincent de Paul store searching for a rosary for her daughter’s First Communion. As she patiently waited at the cash register for the clerk to deal with a rather large, visibly drunk man, she looked over the store’s mixture of used items and Catholic worship materials and wondered if this place was actually a “front for illegal activity.” She fought her impulse to flee; she desperately needed the rosary. When the clerk finally finished with her more problematic client, Knuth cheerfully handed over her credit card to pay for her daughter’s gift only to be told the store didn’t accept credit cards. Dorothy, the eighty-something clerk offers Knuth the option of taking the rosary without paying and asks if she would consider volunteering at the store instead. Knuth agrees, takes her rosary, and leaves. Regret sets in almost immediately after she says “yes.” Knuth soon learns the store is a “front” but not for illegal activity. St. Vincent stores help their clients with clothing, food, and even with paying their bills. Next, she learns the three rules of the society: 1) Pray together 2) Help poor people, face to face, and 3) The poor are our teachers. The remaining chapters of the book offer variations on Rule 3. As Knuth becomes more involved in St. Vincent de Paul (she goes from a volunteer to the one running the place) she undergoes a profound change in her spiritual life. She begins to realize her work is “about recognizing God among us when the language is rough, the labor seems mindless, and everybody is wearing old clothes.” Thrift Store Saints is packed with insight, and the stories will encourage even the most reluctant reader to go out and “do little things with great love.” (Mother Teresa)

“As Knuth becomes more involved in St. Vincent de Paul … she begins to realize her work is “about recognizing God among us when the language is rough, the labor seems mindless, and everybody is wearing old clothes.”

Musical Musings By Lamar James Minister of Music

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In the first few months of 2011, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about “Thinking BIG” and rightfully so. We’ve each been challenged to take self-inventories and search for areas where God can help us to grow personally and collectively as a church body. One specific area that God is blessing our church and music ministry is with our youth. We have watched our youth praise team, VIP (Very Important Praise) grow numerically and spirituallyright before our eyes. I thank God for keeping VIP together and for allowing them to mature as worship leaders and as a ministry team. We are blessed by their worship every 3rd Sunday.

By the time you read this article, you will have experienced another major area of growth for our youth. Our new children’s choir, “Perfect Praise” was presented to us on Sunday, March 27th. I’m sure we can all agree that there’s nothing quite like the sound of youth and children singing praises to God. There’s a level of pureness and innocence associated with their voices and with their worship. When we observe young people taking an active role in worship, it gives us the assurance that God is working His continuation plan and preparing His next generation of worshippers. It gives me confidence and satisfaction to know that New Hope and our music ministry is on track for many more years of excellence in worship and praise to our God. The plan for 2011 is to have Perfect Praise join with VIP bi-monthly. This allows our youth that praise dance the opportunity to dance the months when they do not sing. Your prayers are needed and appreciated. Please pray for our youth and for those that give leadership over them. Our youth are the future and a gift to us from God. Listed below are youth gospel artists that have recorded appropriate and relevant music:

Joshua’s Troop: JT3 – Troup Nation – Joshua’s Troop – Project Youth Youth For Christ: The Struggle Is Over – Thanks In Advance – Higher Walt Whitman and The Soul Children of Chicago: We Are One Mississippi Mass Children’s Choir: When God’s Children Get Together

Stay tuned to Hope’s Voice for more exceptional Gospel Music recommendations.

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My BIG Testimony By Jodi Redmond I have been working out 6 days a week since March 2nd and made Big changes in my diet. I work out at 5am daily and 7am on Saturdays. Before I started working out, my blood pressure was out of control with 3 meds daily. And taking 2 meds for depression/anxiety was not working for me. I have to say when I turned 44 last year, it was difficult for me. My sister passed at 44, and I was just waiting to die. But when I turned 45 on February 22, this year, I decided that I wanted to live and that I needed to get control of my health. I had my yearly physical last week, Friday, and it was all great. My weight is down; my blood pressure is normal without medication and I am taking only one PRN medication for anxiety/ depression. My blood work was so great that the doctor asked me, “Are you sure this is you?” The doctor asked me if I would consider speaking to some of his patients about my dedication to my health. He also told me that I just made his day. Below are some of the great benefits of proper nutrition and exercise: • Depression Management • Lower Blood Pressure • Weight Management • Sense Of Well Being • Lots Of Energy!!! I have to give all glory to God because there are days when I don’t feel like getting up. But I get up at 4am, do my daily word and prayer and I am ready for the gym. I know now that exercising 6 days a week is just a way of life for me, just like going to work — I have to do it.

Volunteers at New Hope Baptist Church HELP YOUR CHURCH BY VOLUNTEERING! By Dorothy Jo Butler

Volunteers give of their time and talents. At New Hope, we need volunteers on a very consistent basis to carry out our mission and vision.  At New Hope, we have a Volunteer Cadre, which is a group of individuals giving of their time and talents to New Hope’s Big Events and Ministry.  Your rewards are numerous, such as a Big-Thank You!  Also, you are giving of yourself to help

someone else. What a great feeling! Some of your duties may be registration, event host, helping to set up games, helping with shoe giveaway, serving during Family Day, Kingdom Life Conference, Ministry Fair and Back to School Activities, etc. Please call the Church Office to Sign Up to be a member of New Hope’s Volunteer Cadre.

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Summer Blast 2011

“I believe 100% that if your child is in a program – whether it’s church or somewhere else – you should volunteer. You should not just drop your child off and pick them up. Go in and help…” A Parent’s Perspective by Ukinya Hunter

I would like to first thank GOD for giving me the opportunity again to place my daughter in the Summer Blast program. Although this may be her last year since she will be in high school next year, this was the best year to send her. On the second day of the program, my daughter came home and asked me, “Mom, why didn’t I go to Summer Blast last year?” I said, “Because you did not want to.” She said, “Why am I going this year?” I said, “Because I TOLD YOU, you were going.” She went on and on telling me how much fun she is having in the program. When she gets in the car, she turns the radio down and says, “GUESS WHAT?”; and she would tell me about her day. She told me that going to the program, her brain could not rest during summer break because she is still learning. Summer Blast is not a DAYCARE; it’s a “Summer School” program, if you ask me. She told me so many stories about her day that I decided I would volunteer on my day off from work. My thought was, “Listening to all the things they do each day, they MUST need help.” Mr. Satterfield (the program director) is a wonderful person, and he was my “go to” guy. He advised me to follow the 2nd and 3rd graders for the day. I said ok; but, I was thinking, “What you talking about, Mr. Satterfield?!” 

We started off in a class where the kids learned about healthy living, respect, self-esteem etc. I was blown away. The students did a great job with listening and following directions, and they learned a lot. Next, we moved to math as if we were in high school switching classes. This class was fun as well, and I’m not a math person. The tools and resources that the kids have today are amazing. They were able to learn in a fun way. Next, we moved to reading, where the teacher read a book and asked questions about the book. Students filled out a worksheet. After that, they sit on a bean bag and read 5 books each. I can go on and on about the program … The kids are given healthy food for breakfast, lunch and snack. They go on field trips. I wanted to take my daughter to the museum in Detroit, and when I found out how much it was, I said, “Oh well, I don’t think we will ever go to that.” And another blessing from above, their second week field trip was to Detroit to the museum. WOW! I don’t like to mention names because I don’t want to forget anyone, but there are two people that I will mention that work in the program that are dear to me. Ms. McCollum was my Home Economics/ Baking teacher 22 years ago at Iroquois. She is now helping my child in her reading class. She is a teacher that you will never forget and one that I always wanted to see even after graduation. To have her in my home church and helping my daughter is very special for me. I went to grade school with Jamila Williams, .22 years ago as well. She is now my daughter’s Spanish and math teacher. They both give me advice on what they think my daughter should do and what they think she is good at – and I love it!!! Summer Blast, Page 14

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Summer Blast 2011 continued from page 13

I believe 100% that if your child is in a program – rather it’s church or somewhere else – you should volunteer. You should not just drop your child off and pick them up. Go in and help; volunteers are always welcome and needed so that the Staff does not get “burned out.” This program is to help our children continue to learn during the summer months so that they can stay focused on the next school year. I love Summer Blast, and I’m sad that it has to come to an end.

More than 100 students were enrolled in New Hope’s 2011 Summer Blast Program. Their performance on Friday, July 22nd, gave parents and guests from the community a glimpse of the variety of arts activities the students took part in, in addition to classes to help them prevent learning loss in reading, math and other subjects.

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School Success

meeting after morning worship in late March, PTE From Page 6 members notified them two major changes — the merge and that the Academic Excellence Recognition Program would no longer be held in June. Starting this fall, students participating in the monitoring project would be recognized during the weekend of the Back To School Rally for any progress they have made. Thirty-two students and thirty-eight parents/ guardians registered to participate. They also signed certificates pledging to take on certain behaviors such as reading more together, being sure that homework is completed, etc. Thanks to all parents/ guardians who have been turning in report cards. Your encouragement and involvement are very important to your child’s success and to the success of the monitoring project. Be sure to contact Jean, Chuck or Sandra if you have any questions about the project or about how to sign on to participate.

Search Is On For Families “Train up a child in the way he should go…” “Honor thy Father and Mother …” Sometimes it is easier to quote scripture than it is to follow its instruction. Sometimes, we don’t know what to do. Family Gatherings, a pilot project, intends to help with that. To be of greater service to parents and students, PTE has joined in with New Hope’s connection to Believe-toBecome initiative sponsored by the Doug and Marie DeVos Foundation. We are looking for at least 10 families to be part of a 10-week Family Gathering Pilot Project at our church. Families who sign on will share in activities at the church once a week for two and one-half hours of fun and learning, starting with dinner together. More details, soon.


ow many people sit in our congregation week after week after week and can’t clearly hear what is being preached? Many people with impaired hearing are embarrassed to ask for assistance if it is not offered to them.

According to national statistics, 8.4% of Americans are considered hard of hearing. Chances are there are people right here in our NHBC congregation that are dealing with hard of hearing issues, and we don’t realize it. That’s where the Media Ministry comes in. We are here for you, and we want to help. If you or someone you know has hearing issues, don’t hesitate to let us know. We may be able to help you. Thank you, and may God Bless you! Oscar James, Jr. 616-361-1844

Hearing Impaired?

* First STRING returns * Sunday Saints returns * Sept. 23-25 - Youth Weekend featuring CREATIVE Saturday and Youth Worship


* Stay tuned for more info...

“Saying, ‘I'm in the invisible church,’ likely means your support, ministry, tithe & accountability are invisible. They don't exist.” ~ Pastor Rick Warren


“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” ~ Paul in Ephesians 4:16


Friday, 8/26—New Hope adopts Campau Park Elementary School!

You can help with set up, games, food service, monitoring, clean up, and more! Contact the church office to learn more about signing up to serve. Other opportunities to be announced soon. Don’t be invisible! New Hope needs each of its members serving in order to be all that God has called us to be.

Hope's Voice Aug/Sept 2011  

August September Newsletter 2011

Hope's Voice Aug/Sept 2011  

August September Newsletter 2011